"I'm so aware of the responsibility I have to tell the story in the best way possible..." - hmv.com talks to the cast & director of Harriet
There are films that take a long time to get made, there are films that take a very long time to get made, and then there's Harriet. First drafted by screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard (Remember The Titans, Ali), all the way back in 1994, the biopic of Harriet Tubman has, much like its subject, endured a torturous journey to its destination.
For those unfamiliar with her exploits, Tubman was a key figure in the abolitionist movement aimed at ending the practice of slavery in the United States and is perhaps best known for escaping the clutches of the plantation where she was put to work, before risking her life and returning in order to help free hundreds more, guiding them to safety with the help of the Underground Railroad.
After numerous false starts, in 2015 it seemed that Tubman's story was finally headed for the big screen, with Oscar-winner Viola Davis attached to star and Seith Mann set to make his feature-length directorial debut with the film. Unfortunately, David and Mann's involvement didn't last, and it wasn't until Focus Features picked up the rights to the film that things really started to move.
From there on in, however, progress has been fairly rapid and this week, more than 20 years on from the script's first draft, Harriet finally completes its long journey to the big screen.
Black Nativity and Eve's Bayou director Kasi Lemmons is the person helming the biopic, working from a reworked script co-written by Howard and Lemmons herself, while Tony-winning actress Cynthia Erivo tackles the starring role of Harriet Tubman. Alongside her is a cast that includes Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Allwyn, Janelle Monae and Jennifer Nettles.
With the film arriving on DVD on Monday (March 30th), we spoke to Kasi, Joe and Cynthia about bringing Harriet Tubman's story to life. Watch our interview below...